Category Archives: winter

Weekly Remedy – Chicken Soup

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Winter is upon us. Cold, wet, cold and really cold. It’s the flu season. Stuffy noses and coughs, congested chests… feeling miserable. The best defense against the illnesses of the season is simple.

Chicken soup.

There is something about chicken soup that shortens the life span of the common cold and/or a bout of the flu.

My favorite recipe is the one Pioneer Woman gives us.

Ingredients
1 whole Chicken
1 whole Bay Leaf
64 ounces, fluid Unsalted (or Low Sodium) Chicken Broth (you May Use Half Broth And Half Water If Desired.)
1 whole Large Onion, Chopped
3 whole Ribs Of Celery, Sliced
3 whole Carrots, Peeled And Chopped
3 whole Parsnips, Peeled And Chopped
1/2 teaspoon Salt
Ground Black Pepper
Preparation Instructions
Place all ingredients but the pepper into a pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cover and simmer for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until chicken is done, vegetables are tender, and soup flavor is divine. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
Serve in a bowl, then sprinkle black pepper over the top.
*Note: Adjust broth levels and/or vegetable amounts as needed.

Thank you Ree for your gift of food.

If you eat this before, during and in the middle of your cold or flu, your illness will get better faster. Truly. Really.

Give it a try.

Nena

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Season?

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Where are we in this year of 2011?

The weather in my neck of the woods has been a roller-coaster of weather anomalies. Just a bit over a week ago we were buried in six inches of the white stuff and two days ago we were in short sleeves marveling at the warmth. Today…. today I have a second set of sweats over my legs because the temperature dipped into the thirties again.

I know, I know. It is still early in the season, don’t get carried away. But who can help it with such warm temps? On top of that, the uncontrollable urge to spring clean has jumped me and I battle fitting it into my schedule.

Right now we just marvel at how full the pond is….

As we in the country look forward to the warm season, we gauge the ability of a farm to weather the approaching season by water and productivity levels… all dependent on water availability. We don’t produce hay on our little niche of the world, but we do require water from the ground for human and animal consumption. Water tables are very important to those of us dependent on wells.

For the past six months the water table has been fairly low. Not dangerously, but enough that we watch and wait for rain.

If you will take a gander at this picture of the pond, disregard our friendly Blue Heron. You will see a two foot wide strip of mud along the bank of this little body of water. Above that is a swath of green where grass has taken hold in the absence of water. Our fall did not bring the expected amounts of rain, thus lowering the water table some what.

Well, all that changed when snow blows into our fair state and deposits record amounts in our back yard.

Voila! A full pond.

The water hugs the bank with a foot of growing room. Spring will surely drop that much on us.

Of course all this talk of spring means the garden needs to be tilled up and planted soon. C-Man pulled the dead grass from the area last weekend and plans a full-fledged assault this weekend. He also has plans for deer deterrent. Lets hope it works. We were visited by SEVEN does the other evening. They know where their bread is buttered.

That is all from my little piece of heaven.

Love,
Jeannene

The Last Winter

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Today was the (hopefully) last bout of snow we will experience here in central Arkansas. It is without a doubt the most we’ve had at one time. At lease five inches are on the ground. Since my husband spent the day away, this serves as a small chronicle for him.

Snow started early after sun up. It didn’t take long for the horses to collect a thin layer of snow on their backs.

Thirty minutes later more snow accumulates…

…. and some more…..

And it just keeps coming down thicker ….

Then it just gets thicker and you can’t see a thing.

Then we have near white out conditions.

So, long into the day my daughter ventures into the snow mess.


Then she tried the other hill with the snow board.

Standing isn’t working well so she decides to lie down and give it a try.

Then we have this beautiful winter tree. Just love the way the snow sticks to it.

And then we have the aftermath around the farm…

My chickens didn’t leave the coop most of the day.

Then we have a foot print in the snow. Can you see the depth of it? It is about 5 inches deep.

This really was a wonderland in my little piece of heaven.

Love,
Jeannene

A Country Winter Morning

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This week the snow cleared out leaving the morning sky a stunning to tribute to creator. My morning commute from work spurred me to take these. I have to say I was lazy when shooting these. I used the auto settings on the camera. The shots are darker than I prefer, but after a 12 hour shift and 30 degree temps, I had no patience to play with the shutter speed to achieve optimum effects.

Regardless, the crisp morning and the rising sun never cease to inspire my creative bugs.

I waited about ten minutes for the morning sun to tip the edge of our hill.

Then, it eased over the crest.

Lovely salmon hues through the winter trees.

Ooooo. She’s peaking pretty clear and it’s so beautiful.

I know this is the second post with sunrise on it, but I am a sucker for the light of day.

What part of the day makes you sing? Love to hear about it.

Thanks for sharing in my little piece of heaven.
Love,
Jeannene

Fire in the Sky

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This is a quick post.

I came home from work this morning and this is the sight that greeted me.

The snow makes the colors pop off the cloud cover and it totally enthralling. Even more enticing was the way the snow sparkled off the head lights as I traveled down the road in near dark. It was diamonds twinkling everywhere. I couldn’t get enough of it. But I had no means of capturing it on film at the time.

After capturing the eastern sky, I turned around and this winked down at me….

Winter has so few redeeming qualities. The sky this morning gave me a fresh outlook on the cold, dreary days we must still endure. If there are sights like these, the rest of the winter won’t be quite so unbearable.

What little piece of heaven have you seen this week?

This is a peek into my piece of heaven. Thank you for letting me share it with you.

Love,
Jeannene

Winter Wonderland

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I am taking a small break from my real writing to write here.  I am beginning to feel my book is taking a  back seat to the blog. I have made slow progress with it, yet is does have seventeen chapters already – not all of which I’m sure will make the final cut, but when I think about writing that many words I still marvel at the ability.

This blog offers so much more stimulation for me that it is now almost addicting. First of all I especially enjoy taking pictures. The little camera I use offers little variety as far functionality, but it does take some really great shots, despite limited access to manual settings.  It allows me to record everything around me at least and I am learning how to take pictures.

The cold these past few days has presented a realm of beauty we seldom see in this part of the world. I have had fun trying out new things.

 
I like this shot because, after dozens of tries before this, I finally have achieved a depth of field. My camera doesn’t allow me to set the F stop manually so I have to tinker with the ISO and macro modes and see what turns out.  This is great!  Here’s another.
See how the foreground is in focus and the back is out of focus.  Effect is achieved.
I didn’t even doctor this in Photoshop. I know it is a banal object, but aren’t the crystals interesting?
 
This was sunrise at our farm this morning.  The fog had frozen to everything leaving this beautiful icey mist on the trees and foliage.  I found it fascinating and couldn’t resist.
This was today’s slices.  Thanks for letting me share.
Love, Jeannene